ABC Buys Legal Thriller From Shondaland & ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Writer

EXCLUSIVE: Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland has set up its fourth project this development season. ABC has put in development drama How To Get Away With Murder, from Shondaland and ABC Studios, where the company is based. Written by Grey’s Anatomy supervising producer Peter Nowalk, How To Get Away With Murder is described as a sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller about a group of ambitious law students and their brilliant, mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot that will rock their entire university and change the course of their lives. Nowalk, Rhimes and Beers executive produce. This is the consecutive second year that Shondaland is developing with Nowalk, who has been on Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy since 2008. Last fall, the company sold an FBI drama penned by Nowalk to NBC. How To Get Away With Murder joins three other projects Shondaland has sold to ABC so far this summer, dramas from Mistresses developer/executive producer KJ Steinberg and Made In Jersey creator Dana Calvo, and a comedy from Cougar Town co-executive producers Christine Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein. Rhimes is with ICM Partners; Nowalk and Beers are with UTA.

Comments (8)

  • I thought we needed more procedural dramas on TV! :) All for no more reality programming, but jeez!

    Comment by Granada — Monday August 19, 2013 @ 1:26pm PDT  
  • It’s likely that out of these 4 projects, atleast 2 may go to series as ABC loves Shonda Rhimes. But I think Shondaland should think of expanding and offer dramas to other networks too, like the one sold to NBC last year, rather than all 4 to ABC, so that there is less competition among them.

    Comment by Hamza — Monday August 19, 2013 @ 2:30pm PDT  
  • Pete Nowalk is a crazy talented writer, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

    Comment by Brian — Monday August 19, 2013 @ 2:47pm PDT  
  • Congratulations to Pete! Good guy, great writer.

    Comment by Kitty — Monday August 19, 2013 @ 2:53pm PDT  
  • @hamza (for some reason reply on my iphone isn’t working)

    I believe Shondaland has a first look deal with ABC since they are set up at ABC studios so ABC gets to decide if they want to develop it. If they pass then they can move on to other networks but I’m pretty positive ABC has first dibs. And why not. I doubt ABC would want to let another network get shonda. She is their god!

    Comment by Tony — Monday August 19, 2013 @ 3:36pm PDT  
  • I kind of love this idea!

    Comment by Zachary — Monday August 19, 2013 @ 3:36pm PDT  
  • I love this idea too. Very interesting and thrillers are in right now. This could be another Scandal. Although the title should be changed. “How to get away with murder” isn’t a terrible title. It’s just generic and isn’t catching. Sounds like a reality game show or a news special with murderers who got away with it.

    Comment by Tony — Monday August 19, 2013 @ 4:09pm PDT  
  • Wanna bet one of the first lines is: “He’s really good”? and then a few “he’s/she’s/I’m really good at his/her/ my job”? *wide eyes open mouths*. And then the law professor’s role becomes marginlized, students some of them become professors and others start leaving the show while new students come that will never be good enough to replace the originals. Might as well call it Grey’s Anatomy: Legal Edition. We already got Grey’s Anatomy: Political Edition why stop there. Oh and one of the students will sleep with the professor and then everyone will sleep around. One. Trick. Pony.

    Comment by Juatin — Monday August 19, 2013 @ 5:19pm PDT  
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